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Our Team is Passionate About Pizza - Here Are 10 Tips for Making It At Home

From crust to toppings...

Few things are certain in life, except that pizza makes everything and anything better. Kelly and her fiancé have friendly pizza competitions where they each make individual-sized pies and challenge each other to who made the better one; Emily and Geoffrey make ample use of their pizza oven every summer; and one of Leslie's favorite mid-week meals is a simple shrimp pizza that takes fifteen minutes. Whether you're stopping by a local pizzeria or popping a pre-made one into the oven, pizza is guaranteed to make your dinner something to be savored. During a recent lunch discussion, we learned that we all have very specific tips for creating our own pizzas at home. Here are our ten best:

#1

I used to always make homemade dough until I realized I could buy it from the pizza shop around the corner. It's an affordable alternative (only $2!) and cuts down on time, all without sacrificing the taste. In a pinch, you can also buy Trader Joe's delicious dough which is (nearly) just as good. - Emily

#2

This shrimp pizza is my favorite pizza in the world—something about the combination of the sun-dried tomatoes, garlicky sauce, and shrimp is irresistible. Because the most time-intensive part of it is making the sauce, I take a tip from my mom and make it in doubled or quadrupled batches, then freeze single, pizza-sized portions of it. Once I have the sauce, it takes me about fifteen minutes (no joke) to make and serve this pizza, a huge reason it's on regular rotation in our apartment! - Leslie

#3

Obviously one of the things I miss most about New York is the pizza. There are two perfect pies in existence, and I try to eat both each time I visit: The Supreme from Rubirosa and the Bee Sting from Roberta's (which recently opened a location in LA, much to my excitement!). After I moved, I spent so much time complaining about craving them that I eventually realized I should at least attempt to recreate them at home. After some trial and error, I can honestly say they're really good. While they're not identical, the flavor profiles are so similar that I get a pang of nostalgia with each bite, and it's the closest I'll get to teleporting back to NYC. - Jess

#4

After first seeing pizza scissors at a restaurant in L.A. years ago, I quickly ditched my go-to pizza cutter for a pair of shears. They cut through crust so much faster than a knife or wheel and won't scratch your pans. - Emily

#5

I always buy a few specialty ingredients to top my pizza with. As delicious as the basics, like pepperoni and mozzarella, are, adding extras like sun-dried tomatoes, a really good goat cheese, or an egg can really push it over the edge. - Katie

#6

I like to add seasoning to my dough to make it more flavorful. My go-tos are Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and onion powder, although I imagine it'd be just as tasty with an herbed salt or red pepper flakes. - Lisa 

#7

I used to make homemade pizza in the oven, which totally works as long as you pre-bake the dough for around 5 minutes before adding your toppings (I hate underbaked crust!!). Now that I live somewhere with a grill, we make our pizza outside on a $10 pizza stone. If you like a crispy/slightly burnt pizza, it's a game-changer. It takes around 25-30 minutes but is totally worth it. - Kelly

#8

If the cheese is too wet, your crust will often absorb the moisture, making it soggy. If you like a crispy crust, low-moisture cheese is a savior. - Katie 

#9

The crust is, in my opinion, the hardest thing to get right when making pizza at home. Broiling your pizza instead of baking it gives it a charred, crunchy crust all while crisping up your toppings too. - Lisa

1

Basil olive oil is seriously the best flavor addition on top of any pizza. To make it, I combine 1 cup of basil leaves with 2 cups of extra virgin olive oil in a blender and purée until smooth. Then I heat the mixture for just under a minute and pour it through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the basil. Top your pizza with a drizzle or use it as a dipping sauce for your crust, as you would bread! The oil will last up to a week in your fridge as well! - Katie

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